Na Mele O Hawai'i Nei: 101 Hawaiian Songs

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University of Hawaii Press, 1970 - Music - 110 pages
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Here for the first time is a large collection of Hawaiian songs in an authoritative text with translation (music not included). The texts have never before been written consistently with the glottal stops (indicating syllabic breaks between vowels) and macrons (indicating long vowels and stresses) that make the words pronounceable by those unfamiliar with the Hawaiian language. Many of the songs have not been translated before or have only been freely adapted rather than translated.

These 101 songs are all postmissionary and owe their musical origin to missionary hymns, although only a few are religious. None are technically chants, though some are chants that have been edited and set to music. They date from the mid-1850s (most are from the time of the monarchy) to 1968 (the date of Mary Kawena Pukui's translation of Christmas songs). Nearly all of these songs are sung today and are well known to Hawaiian singers. Included are love songs, and Christmas songs.

There is an exhaustive introduction, which includes classification and arrangement of the songs; a note on the composers; and analysis of the structure, symbolism, and meanings of the songs; and a note on the translations and on the poetic vocabulary of the Hawaiian words.


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Hilo March
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Ku u 7io My Dog
Manu Oo Honeyeater
Auld lung Syne
Little Drummer Boy

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About the author (1970)

Elbert was the resident authority on Polynesian languages at the University of Hawaii for more than 40 years.

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